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IGCSE London Examinations IGCSE IGCSE English Literature (4360) Additional Teacher Support Material October 2005 Additional Teacher Support Material London Examinations IGCSE English Literature Stories from Around the world Betrayal delivered locally, recognised globally

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  • IGCSE London Examinations IGCSE

    IGCSE English Literature (4360)

    Additional Teacher Support Material

    October 2005

    Additional Teacher Support Material

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    delivered locally, recognised globally

  • London Examinations IGCSE English Literature (4360) Additional Support Material for Stories from Around the World

    1

    This is an additional website resource provided by Edexcel International to support IGCSE English Literature. This resource provides learning material for:

    Stories from Around the World This resource considers the three stories under the theme of BETRAYAL: Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer The Bamboo Blind by Seema Jena Everyday Use by Alice Walker

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    Country Lovers by Nadime Gordimer

    Before reading In 1948 the National Party began to pass laws to introduce a system of apartheid in South Africa and it was not until 1992 that the system was officially abolished. Activity In pairs

    discuss the meaning of apartheid research what kinds of laws were passed and consider what daily life must have been like for a black South African

    at this time. Share your findings with the rest of the class.

    Exploring the text

    How well do I know the story?

    1. A local TV station wants to broadcast this story on the evening

    news. Imagine you are a newsreader and that you have less than one minute to present the main points to your TV audience. Think carefully about what aspects of the story you would choose to highlight. Prepare your bulletin and present it to the rest of the class.

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    2. Gifts are significant as several are given and received during the

    course of the story. Put the following five presents in the order that they are given, stating for each who gave it and to whom:

    Gift Your order: B, A, etc. Given by To whom

    A a pink plastic bath?

    B a painted box?

    C a tin of Johnsons Baby Powder?

    D a red plastic belt and gilt hoop earrings?

    E a bracelet?

    Characters Use the following questions (making sure each answer is supported by quotations) to help you build a character study of the following two main characters. Work together in groups of two or three before sharing your ideas with the rest of the class.

    Paulus

    1. When questioned, why doesnt Paulus tell his friends the truth about

    who made the bracelet for him?

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    2. When talking about his boarding-school life, in what ways can Paulus be

    seen as slightly boastful and wanting to impress Thebedi?

    3. At the river-bed, we are told they had known one another always.

    What do you think the author really means by always?

    4. On more than one occasion, the author reminds us that Paulus has

    plenty of other female attention and contact. Find these occasions and explain why you think she deliberately does this.

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    5. Up until Paulus visits Thebedi in the kraal, the author portrays the two

    lovers and their secret relationship mostly sympathetically. How might our view of Paulus change however, in the light of

    a) his grimace of tears, anger and self-pity

    b) his comment I feel like killing myself?

    6. Do you think Paulus is a selfish character? Or do you think his reaction

    to the babys fair colouring is a realistic one when considering the cultural and social divisions between them? Explain your reason(s).

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    7. What importance do you attach to the fact that Paulus repeatedly refers

    to the baby girl as it when he first sees her and discusses her with Thebedi?

    8. In court, Paulus denies poisoning the baby, but as readers we strongly

    suspect he did. Examine the various reasons for his actions.

    9. At the start of the story we are told The trouble was Paulus Eysendyck

    did not seem to realize that Thebedi was now simply one of the crowd of farm children down at the kraal Do you think that he just did not realize or that he knew perfectly well but chose to ignore it? Explain your answer.

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    Thebedi

    1. Fearing that it will lead to trouble, Thebedi, like Paulus, lies about the

    source of a gift she is given as she tells her father the belt and earrings were a reward from the farmers wife. Yet, why does she risk discovery by boasting about having a sweetheart to her girlfriends?

    2. Why does Thebedi put her shoes on when Paulus is back from boarding-

    school?

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    3. Thebedi chooses to tell Paulus neither that she is going to marry nor

    that she is pregnant. Discuss her reasons for this.

    4. Njabulo buys baby products for Thebedis baby why doesnt the

    author say for their baby? How is the author trying to influence our thinking here?

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    5. When Paulus visits the kraal we are told Thebedis eyes begin to glow,

    to thicken with tears. Who is she crying for and why? Is there more than one explanation for her tears?

    6. Do you think there is strong evidence to suggest Thebedi was aware of

    Paulus intentions to kill their baby, or do you think she was ignorant of it? Find references to support your viewpoint.

    7. How does Thebedis evidence and behaviour at the preparatory

    examination contrast with that at the trial a year later? Why do you think she changes her version of events?

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    8. In your opinion, which character has more to lose at the end of the story

    and why: Paulus or Thebedi?

    9. To what extent do you feel Thebedi is equally responsible for the babys

    death?

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    And the moral of this story is

    Short stories often have a moral ending which gives a message or lesson to the reader and is usually something we learn as a direct result of a characters behaviour or actions. 1. Killing a baby is morally wrong and inexcusable. What do Paulus

    actions teach us about the value of life and solutions to problems?

    2. In what way are Thebedis morals, particularly as a mother, equally

    questionable?

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    3. In small groups, take one theme from those below. Discuss how that

    theme is explored in the story, and report back to the rest of the class. Love

    Prejudice

    Culture

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    The different types of betrayal

    Language, style and structure

    Language

    Repetition 1. Allusions to dark occur frequently in the story when describing

    Thebedi, along with a few references to shade. Find two examples of this and discuss whether the author is merely using these words to describe Thebedis skin colour, or could they have other references?

    2. Which phrase is repeated twice during their lovemaking to highlight the

    sincerity of their experience at this moment?

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    Local vocabulary How do the inclusion of South African nouns add to the authenticity of the setting? Give one example.

    Descriptive language 1. Paulus and Thebedis union is described as knowing no boundaries as

    each follows an urge to be with the other. What does the following phrase suggest about the place of race and culture in their relationship?

    they squatted side by side on the earth bank

    2. How does the style of language change at the end of the story when the

    author describes the court case and then the media interest?

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    Sentence lengths Reread the sentence near the start of the story beginning When he was fifteen and ending for the black girl, Thebedi. Why do you think the author uses such a long sentence here, aided by the fourfold repetition of When? How might it reflect Paulus feelings for Thebedi?

    Style

    Contrast 1. Contrast occurs several times in the course of the story and one of the

    most distinct examples is the difference between the accepted educational paths of the black and white children. How does the author compare the two?

    2. How does the contrast between Thebedis secrecy towards her father

    and the boast she tells her friends add to the dramatic tension?

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    3. What contrast can you find between Thebedis two different pieces of evidence given one year apart?

    Symbolism What do you think Thebedis gilt hoop earrings have come to symbolise by the end of the story, and why?

    Irony Why is it ironic that Thebedi is wearing the gilt hoop earrings that Paulus gave her during her first testimony in the witness box when she accuses him of murdering the baby?

    Structure 1. Many short stories take place over a short space of time, such as a few

    hours or a few days. Country Lovers, however, takes the reader on a journey of years. How does the author mark the passing of time?

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    2. Although the story constantly moves forward in time, it also refers back to childhood in quite a few places. Why do you think it does this?

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    The Bamboo Blind by Seema Jena

    Before reading The tradition of an arranged marriage (whereby the marital partners are usually chosen by their respective families) is still a common form of marriage in several countries in South Asia, especially in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Activity Working in pairs, write down three advantages and three disadvantages of the arranged marriage tradition. Now join up with another pair and discuss your ideas, before sharing them with the rest of the class.

    Exploring the text

    How well do I know the story?

    The setting for this story is mainly Manchester in England, but the main character Razia also details her previous life in Lucknow, India. 1. Which setting opens the story and what happens?

    2. What was Razias life like in Lucknow?

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    3. Describe Razias life in Manchester living with her in-laws.

    4. What is the cause of conflict and how is it resolved?

    Characters

    Razia

    1. How does the October weather in Manchester mirror Razias emotions in

    the opening paragraph?

    2. What do you learn about the place of women in Razias culture from the

    first four paragraphs?

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    3. What do you learn about Razias own views on that issue?

    4. What language in the fourth paragraph suggests Razia feels imprisoned

    by her situation and surroundings?

    5. We are told that Razia loathed the whole arrangement behind the

    bamboo blind. Explain the arrangement she is referring to and discuss why you think she finds it so distasteful.

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    6. How do you imagine Razia felt when she was told by her brothers that

    her college education was finished and that she would be better off learning to cook and embroider?

    7. Marrying someone living in England would be a dream come true.

    What do you think Razias dream about her future life in England involves?

    8. How far do you feel Razias dream is really a fantasy? Describe her

    daily life in the house and her feelings about its occupants.

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    9. Why do you think Razia is so upset by Hasinas remarks?

    10. What evidence suggests she might feel patronised by her mother-in-

    laws comments?

    11. To what extent does Razias attitude towards Razak, whilst waiting for

    him to return home, appear negative and accusing?

    12. Looking at the venetian blind, Razia says In Lucknow, we call it the

    chilman. (a) What is ironic about Razaks solution to her problem?

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    (b) Consider whether Razias life in Manchester is better or

    worse than her life in Lucknow.

    13. To what degree do you feel Razia has been let down by her own culture?

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    Razak

    1. What are our first impressions of Razak from the descriptions given of him?

    2. To what extent is Razaks observation about life in Manchester, In many

    ways it is just like Lucknow, actually true?

    3. How does Razaks choice of evening entertainment contribute to Razias

    growing sense of isolation?

    4. What method does Razak use to dissuade Razia from complaining about

    his family?

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    5. What is Razaks reaction to Razias outburst?

    6. Which simile is used in the concluding scene to refer to Razak? How far

    do you feel Razak deserves this simile?

    And the moral of this story is

    1. What lesson do you think this story is trying to teach us about life?

    2. To what extent must we experience that lesson ourselves for it to be a

    valid one, rather than through someone elses teachings?

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    3. To what degree can Razia be seen as being betrayed by her own culture?

    Language, style and structure

    Language

    Rhetorical questions These are used frequently by both Hasina and Razias mother-in-law. Find one example from each character and explain what effect each has on the tone of the passage at that point.

    Hasina:

    Razia:

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    Imagery The author uses personification twice within the opening paragraph to enrich her description and set the mood of this scene. Describe the effectiveness of each example.

    Example 1:

    Example 2:

    Local dialect What does the inclusion of local dialect at various points add to the story?

    Style

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    Irony What is ironic about Razias situation at the end of the story?

    Parallels We are invited to draw parallels between Razias life in Lucknow and her life in Manchester. Carefully consider the parallels that exist between the following: 1. The melodramatic and exaggerated words and actions of Begum Mazhar

    in Lucknow with those of Razias mother-in-law in Manchester

    2. Razias expectations of daily life in both settings

    3. The chilman and the venetian blind.

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    What other parallels exist? Structure The story is constructed in a circular fashion, since it ends where it began: in Razias bedroom at the window. How effectively do you think the author weaves in the background information about Lucknow into the course of the story, without detracting from its Manchester setting?

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    Everyday Use by Alice Walker

    Exploring the text

    How well do I know the story?

    The real action of this story doesnt take place until after Dee arrives, yet the first part of the story still plays an important part in the development of the story as a whole. What background information are we given in this first part and how does it help us to understand what happens in the second part with Dees arrival?

    Characters

    The narrator (Maggie and Dees mother)

    1. How does the narrators unflattering physical description of herself and the skills she is proud of clearly contrast with the way in which her daughter Dee would like her to be in her TV dream?

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    2. After reading the narrators dream, what do you imagine the

    relationship between Dee and the narrator is really like?

    3. The narrator makes a couple of initial references to her relationship

    with white people and a few paragraphs later tells us in 1927 coloureds asked fewer questions than they do now. Look carefully at what she says and discuss what she means by this statement in particular.

    4. The narrator is heavily critical of Dees attempts to improve her and

    Maggie once she starts school. What language does she use which suggests she is resentful of Dees behaviour?

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    5. How far do you believe the narrator is fully aware of Dees manipulative

    and critical behaviour when she tells us about Dees relationship with Jimmy T?

    6. During the conflict over the quilts, what do you think was the turning

    point after which the narrator decisively told Dee that Maggie was having them?

    7. Why do you think the narrator refers to Dees hands as Miss Wangeros

    hands at the climax of this story?

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    8. Which question of the narrators in the final passage suggests she is now

    ready for battle with Dee and no longer prepared to put up with her rude behaviour?

    9. What does the final image of the narrator and Maggie calmly sitting

    together outside imply about how they view Dees visit?

    Dee

    1. What are our first impressions of Dee that are given in the second paragraph?

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    2. How do these impressions help prepare us when we actually meet her

    later on in the story?

    3. When the fire takes place and Maggie is being rescued by her mum in a

    distressing scene, what is Dee doing? How might her behaviour surprise us at a time of such panic?

    4. To what extent can Dee be described as a materialistic person?

    5. What evidence is there to imply that Dee is ashamed of her family?

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    6. From the way she is dressed, what gives us the idea that Dee is a person

    who likes to be both seen and heard?

    7. What does Dees name change suggest about her connection with her

    family?

    8. What do you think was the real purpose of Dees visit?

    9. How does Dees body language initially make us believe she will keep

    the quilts she wants?

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    10. Locate the two contrasting similes the narrator uses to describe Dees change of mood from happy to angry once she realises she will not get the quilts. How effective are they in each case?

    Simile 1:

    Effectiveness:

    Simile 2:

    Effectiveness:

    11. Look at Dees last two comments to her family which she speaks with a

    superior air. What does she mean by these?

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    And the moral of this story is

    1. There are several references to change in this story. What do you think these references are trying to teach us about both changing other people and changing oneself?

    2. What other themes does this story explore?

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    Language, style and structure

    Language

    The narrator We are given a very visual depiction of the narrators physique with clear suggestions of masculinity: large, big-bonedrough, man-working hands. What kind of verbs are used in this paragraph to describe her skills and how do they support this masculine image?

    Look at the quick succession of four monosyllabic verbs the narrator uses within one sentence towards the end of the passage when she describes how she did something she never had done before. What do these verbs suggest about the narrators mood at that moment in time?

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    Imagery The paragraph detailing Dees attempts to improve the lives of her family is a particularly vivid one and uses several metaphors to describe it. Clearly the narrator is a religious woman since she talks about God and church songs. 1. What religious ceremony does the following metaphor remind you of

    She washed us in a river of make-believe?

    2. Why is it a particularly fitting one in this context?

    3. What is ironic about the narrators choice of metaphor in the following

    line: burned us with a lot of knowledge we didnt necessarily need to know?

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    Style

    Humour What examples of humour can you find? How does the narrator use humour to make light of otherwise serious comments or issues?

    First person narrative Everyday Use is the only story in the Betrayal section that uses the first person narrative. In what ways does using this viewpoint add to the success of this story and involve us on a deeper level than if it were written in the third person narrative?

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    Audience address The narrator addresses us directly on more than one occasion: Youve no doubt seen and Have you ever seen. What effect does this have upon us as readers?

    Direct speech Once Dee arrives, a great deal of conversation takes place between the characters, with some of it more heated than others. How does the inclusion of direct speech quicken the pace of the narrative?

    Conversational tone Since we are directly addressed, it seems fitting for the narrator to use a colloquial, chatty style which she combines on occasions with rhetorical questions. Find one example of her conversational tone and one instance of the narrator using a rhetorical question.

    Conversational tone:

    Rhetorical question:

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    Structure

    1. To what extent can the structure of this story be likened to a patchwork quilt? Which character would you therefore consider to be the thread that touches every piece?

    2. In what way does this story end where it began, but with a victory for

    the real victim of this story, Maggie?

    Exam practice In pairs, make brief notes on how to answer each question before comparing ideas with the rest of the class. Then practise answering a question under timed conditions in class.

    Show how conflict is revealed in any TWO of the stories from the collection.

    Both Paulus and Thebedi are guilty of their babys murder. To what extent do you agree with this statement about these two characters in Country Lovers?